Pakistan army chief General Raheel Sharif on Wednesday said that 11 Indian soldiers were killed in cross-border firing on November 14, the day seven of his personnel were gunned down near the de-facto border between the two countries, according to reports in Pakistani media.
He dared the Indian Army to “accept their losses”, stressing that the “Pakistan Army accepts and owns its casualties”, said a report on the Pakistani news website, Dawn.
Gen. Sharif, in a conversation with media in Islamabad, said India’s surgical strikes across the Line of Control was limited to mere words and New Delhi had to face embarrassment over the claim, according to Geo News.
Earlier in the day, the General, alongside Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, watched a Pakistani military exercise near the strategic border to test the army’s preparedness.
Ties between New Delhi and Islamabad have hit a low in the aftermath of an attack on an Indian Army base in northern Kashmir’s Uri that killed 19 soldiers in September. New Delhi blamed the brazen assault on Pakistan-based militants, a charge Islamabad has denied.
About a fortnight after the Uri attack, the Indian Army said it carried out surgical strikes on militant bases across the Line of Control. Since then, repeated ceasefire violations at the border and civilian deaths on both sides have added to the tension.
India recently accused a Pakistan high commission staffer of spying, and in a tit-for-tat move, a media leak in Pakistan accused eight officials of the Indian mission of being involved in “subversive activities”.
Almost all engagements between the neighbours have been put on hold amid reports that the two countries will scale down diplomatic presence in each other’s capitals, though Pakistan has confirmed it will attend a conference in Amritsar in December.
On November 14, Pakistan accused India of resorting to unprovoked firing and its Foreign Office summoned the Indian envoy to lodge a protest. The Pakistan military’s media arm, on its Facebook page, said that seven soldiers died in the Bhimber sector of the LoC in a ceasefire violation by Indian troops late on Sunday night.